- Tropical Storm Elsa is making its way up the East Coast. Over 45,000 were without power in Georgia and South Carolina early Thursday.
- One person died in Florida after a tree fell on two cars.
- In Georgia, a suspected tornado touched down at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, injuring about 10 people.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Tropical Storm Elsa powered its way across Georgia and into South Carolina on Thursday, an unrelenting weather system that already has claimed one life, injured at least 10 people and placed more than 30 million Americans under a tropical storm warning.
Almost 45,000 homes and businesses were without power in those two states alone early Thursday, and flooding was a concern as isolated areas could see up to 8 inches of rain before the storm passes.
A flash flood watch has been issued for portions of central Virginia as well, and the National Weather Service issued the tropical storm warning for long swaths of the East Coast as far north as Boston and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Early Thursday, Elsa was centered about 90 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina, and was moving northeast at 18 mph, the weather service said. The storm has weakened, but sustained winds still howled at 40 mph.
Elsa was expected to gain speed over the next couple of days, pass near eastern mid-Atlantic states by Thursday night, and then edge near or over the northeastern United States on Friday and Friday night, said Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The system should move over the Atlantic off of Canada by Friday night and Saturday, Beven said.
The storm, which killed three people last week as it rolled across islands in the Caribbean, caused some flooding in parts of Florida the last couple days. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue reported that a tree fell on two cars Wednesday, killing one person. Rescuers there later pulled a person from a car swamped on a flooded street.
Possible tornado strikes Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base
In Georgia, a suspected tornado touched down at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, injuring about 10 people, said commanding officer Capt. Chester Parks. Multiple recreational vehicles in the base RV park were damaged, along with some buildings, he said.
“I want to thank all of our first responders and Camden County first responders for their quick actions,” Parks said. “Their quick response most certainly helped.”
Sergio Rodriguez, who lives near the RV park, said he raced to the scene fearing friends staying at the park might be hurt. The area was under a tornado warning Wednesday evening.
“There were just RVs flipped over on their sides, pickup trucks flipped over, a couple of trailers had been shifted and a couple of trailers were in the water” of a pond on the site, Rodriguez said.
New York City could see flooding
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for New York City, starting at midnight tonight and lasting until noon Friday.
Although heavy rainfall will be possible as early as Thursday afternoon, the greater chances for this will begin Thursday night, the weather service said. Total rainfall from Thursday afternoon through Friday is expected to range mostly 2 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts possible.
“Damaging winds are the primary threat from these storms,” NYC Emergency Management warned.
Boston in danger of feeling Elsa’s wrath
Incredibly, the tropical storm that smashed through the Caribbean a week ago is now a threat in Massachusetts.
A tropical storm warning is in effect through Friday evening for coastal parts of the state as well as parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Heavy rains could bring localized flooding to parts of Boston.
“Main threats are damaging winds, isolated hail & locally heavy rainfall which may lead to street flooding,” the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency tweeted.
Elsa made landfall Wednesday in Florida; 9 missing after boat capsizes
Elsa made landfall around 11 a.m. Wednesday in Taylor County along Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, the hurricane center said. Earlier, Key West streets had turned to roaring rivers and Tampa was blasted by high winds and heavy rains.
On Tuesday, the Coast Guard and a good Samaritan boat rescued 13 people off the coast of Key West. Coast Guard officials said the group was among 22 that left Cuba on a boat that capsized in waters churned by the storm. Seven men and two women were missing.
Spaghetti models: Track Elsa’s path
Bacon reported from Arlington, Va. Contributing: The Associated Press